Push the Reset Button
Sharpen up those School Skills
Tags: school skills
Posted: 2014-08-23 09:32:49 By:




2014 Award
Spot it! Disney Pixar Words
(Blue Orange Games $13 Score: )

Take your choice of licenses: Disney Princesses or Pixar, whatever appeals to your beginning reader, here is a fun way to develop matching skills as well as sight word recognition. There is only one matching pair on any two cards and you have to be fast to be first to spot it! Kids identify the matching words pairs or word and image matches. A fun choice for 2-8 players ages 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2014 Award
Magic School Bus Math Explosion
(The Young Scientists Club $29.99 Score: )

Math Explosion makes math a blast! Basically, this is a flashcard game, except it does not come with premade cards. You get to select the ones that match your child's individual needs. You go on line to print out the right ones to reinforce the child's skills level. Scholastic has provided your choice of addition, subtraction, multiplication tables and division problems that you print out on colorful paper they provide. The game board comes with a small mountain and container where the vinegar cup goes (be forewarned the mountain is a bit out of shape since it comes smushed with rubber bands to fit it into the box...and they do not provide vinegar or the baking soda needed for play, but it, that said, you probably won't mind. Here's how it works. Players take turns answering math facts and if they get the right answer they advance on the board... with a chance to add a spoonful of baking soda to the playing piece cup. The first to reach the volcano gets to pour the baking soda into the volcano. You could say this game is a blast, with kids racing to be the one to set off the explosion, which, by the way collects neatly in a tray provided. Science and math, a fun combo for kids at various grade levels. We generally do not encourage games that are designed around flashcards. They are not for everyone. Keep in mind, flashcards do not teach math, they reinforce it. For developing speed and memory they can be useful.  But for kids still struggling with basics you might want to find another way to build confidence instead of speed. 6-10

New for 2015, another version of this game with a volcano as a payoff, Science Explosion. This one is more like a science trivia game. Players start out with four master cards, such as an insect card that shows the body parts of an insect. Their object is to draw or trade the five matching topic cards that match their master card. Each time they make a match they move one place and add a bit of vinegar to the volcano. We suspect this will be a better bet for home schoolers or kids who are truely into science trivia. Marked for 5 & up.  


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.




2014 Awards
I Sea 10! Math Game
(Learning Resources $9.99 Score: )

For summer fun -- keep math skills alive with this lively game. Place fish cards on tabletop with numbers face down. Players take turns turning two cards over at a time. When they see numerals that add up to ten they call out "I see 10!" and take the cards. But watch out for sharks! If you turn up a shark instead of a numeral you have to turn back any sets of tens you have collected. The winner is the one with the greatest number of tens at the end of the game. The cards are small but sturdy, about the size of a quarter and easy to flip. This is a great game for 6-8s.

Age: . Award Year: 2014.




2014 Award
Zingo! Word Builder
(Thinkfun $19.99 Score: )

Our testers loved the fast-paced action of sliding the zinger machine to reveal two letters. Players take letter that they can use to complete a word on their playing boards. Possible words do vary so this game is rarely ever the same. In fact, it helps beginners see all the variations they can make as well as demonstrating the need to look at all the letters to see the difference between words that look almost alike. First player to fill his board is the winner. A fun way to reinforce reading skills for beginners who are learning to build phonetically regular three letter words. 5 & up

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.


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